Reports emerged earlier today indicating Chrysler might sell its key brands, such as Jeep, purchased from Renaul in 1987Enlarge Photo
One of the biggest criticisms for struggling Detroit carmakers General Motors and Chrysler is the number of brands they have under the one roof and the associated problem of selling models that often compete with one another in the same segments. In its efforts to secure its share of a federal bailout
, GM said it intends to focus its U.S. product and marketing resources on four core brands
, namely Buick, Chevrolet, Cadillac and GMC, leaving the others in a state of limbo.
According to a report early Wednesday, Chrysler was also reviewing the future of some of its brands and was possibly in talks with Renault-Nissan and automotive parts supplier Magna International about selling some of its key assets. The report, which originated with Reuters
, has since been denied by Chrysler President Tom LaSorda.
"This company is going to be around. We are not going under," LaSorda said. Rather than selling off brands such as Jeep or Viper, LaSorda insists only tooling for models no longer in production is up for sale. The option of licensing production of currently-built models to other companies remains on the table.
The errant Reuters
report claimed that Chrysler is rushing to restructure after taking the first $4 billion
in government funded loans. The alleged deal also would have seen Chrysler deepen its ties with two of its main industry alliances - Nissan and Magna - but at the same time marked the end of the Auburn Hills company as an independent venture.
Renault-Nissan is reportedly keen about acquiring the Jeep brand
but is worried whether any deal may jeopardize Chrysler’s access to the federal funding. As for Magna, the parts supplier is reportedly in talks to acquire Chrysler’s Belvidere assembly plant in Illinois. The Reuters
source also claimed that Chrysler is still in talks with a number of Chinese carmakers despite its earlier venture with Chery Auto coming to an end
No further word on the matter has been forthcoming from Nissan or Magna.